Sunday, October 31, 2010

another diet drug rejected by the FDA

It is such a shame that every weight loss/diet drug has such terrible side effects. According to this article, not only did the promising new drug Qnexa get axed by the FDA, but Meridia, a previously approved drug, has now been pulled from the market.  
Qnexa's problems included "possible health risks, including major cardiovascular events and risks for women of childbearing potential."    Meridia was pulled for increasing "the risk of heart attack and stroke".
On the one hand, everyone screams about obesity and how much it costs society and how unhealthy it is.  35% of the U.S. population is obese (I think the total percentage of overweight is something like 70% or higher).   A weight loss pill that worked would make that pharmaceutical company as much money as Viagra.   Especially if it had to be taken for life.  Can you imagine?  But with every promising new drug being shut out by the FDA, it's not going to happen anytime soon.  Drug companies are going to stop trying.  There's other things, like Alzheimer's, they can make a lot of money on too.
screenprint of article.
diet drug rejected

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cleanse aftermath

Just to follow up on the cleanse: the official weight loss total was TEN POUNDS. That's right, I'm at 87 pounds lost. So close to 100! 13 pounds!
After talking to Deb, we added in dairy and wheat. I have not binged. I've followed the golf ball when eating. The only thing that is making me sad is that my beloved Diet Caffeine-free Pepsi tastes like crap now after a week without. Water also tastes like crap. I have nothing to drink that I enjoy so I am a bit dehydrated. Tomorrow I start back up at the pool so that will relieve that somewhat.
I feel good, I don't think I've reacting negatively to the dairy or the wheat. I'll weigh myself tomorrow. Deb said if I gain weight, that's an adverse reaction. With the way I've been eating (today was about 900 calories) there is no way I should have gained.
I'm still off corn, potatoes, sugar, nuts and fruit.  Probably on Tuesday or Wednesday I'll get to add in a new thing as long as I'm okay with dairy and wheat.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

diary of a 5 day cleanse, day 5

I lost another pound. 7 (84) total. I'm hoping for 1 more, putting me at 279, 15 lbs away from 100 lost. When I got up this morning I couldn't bear to eat anything. Right now every food I'm allowed to eat, I hate so much. I hate veggies. I hate meat. I hate water no matter how cold and icy it is.
Technically my 5 days of servitude end in 6 hours.  Actually 5.5.  I can stick it out 5.5 hours, even with no food, right?  In 90 minutes I'm having a phone therapy session for an hour, so that really makes it 4.5 (at least in my crazy head). I'm not planning on going nuts at 6:01 p.m., don't get me wrong! I have to go somewhere and I can't control what food will be offered me.  I usually have water to drink there, but tonight I know I will ask for a can of diet Pepsi.  Last night I was crying, I wanted to go downstairs and have just a mouthful of soda, just SOMETHING that wasn't boring steamed veggies and broiled tasteless hunks of tough meat.   I can't even bear to eat bacon, I'm putting it all away in the freezer.  Maybe I will cook a big breakfast over Thanksgiving weekend, that seems far enough away to want bacon again.
I'm trying to decide what I will eat tomorrow, when I am free to eat again.  We're going to the movies so popcorn.  My husband eats the buttery part off the top while I'm doing the Habba Syndrome thing in the bathroom, then I eat 6-8 handfuls (about 3 cups).  I'm leaning toward making a lovely pizza for supper, but I was also invited to a benefit. I don't really want to go.  It's a 50/50 raffle but you KNOW at a fundraiser if you win the raffle money the expectation is that you will refuse the prize and give the charity the whole thing. I couldn't bear to win a few hundred dollars and walk away from it.  I need that money too.  The place has extremely limited food--nothing cooked on a grill or in a fryer, only cold sandwiches and probably chips from a bag, YUCK.  And my husband will drink a lot and I'll have to drive home and I haven't driven his new car yet. I don't want my maiden voyage to be 30 miles in the dark along strange roads.  I'm thinking of giving a friend of mine who is going some money to throw into the raffle pot.  I just don't think I'm up to the noise and the crowd, I'm very fragile right now.  Last week I didn't enjoy the party I had to go to at all, and that was before this cleanse.
I had a long phone therapy session today with Deb and we decided to add wheat and milk products into my diet.  Still pretty restricted, but at least there's carbs!   I made it to 4:30 and then I went to the grocery store to get some high fiber, low carb bread.  Then I stopped to eat, so I didn't quite make the full 5 days, but I did not binge.  I had 1 glass of diet pepsi and two fajitas, with very little cheese, and I didn't finish either tortilla, so it probably comes out to just over 1 tortilla total.  All hail cheese and wheat!   I can have a high-fiber English muffin with a little butter for breakfast with a lovely cup of tea, I can have fajitas or quesadillas made with wheat tortillas, I can have pizza.  I feel pretty happy.   I'm still off corn, sugar, potatoes and fruit.  At some point next week, when I haven't had any adverse reactions to dairy or wheat, we'll add another thing in. I would like to have some kind of potato but I'm not CRAVING it, just MISSING it.  I can do without potatoes for a few days or even another week, same with fruit.  Probably corn will be the next addition.
During our conversation today, a couple of the things that came up were some bad past experiences perpetuated on me by family members, my family and my in-laws.  My husband has a distressing tendency to side with his family against me in any conflict and if I stand up for myself, that's just Rosie being a bitch again so I'm always in the wrong.  She asked me who in my life is really on my side?  Who roots for Rosie?
So I want to take a minute to thank those people who root for me:  my readers and my Facebook friends.  People who have never met me in real life (IRL).  Thank you, guys.  You know who you are.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

diary of a 5 day cleanse, day 4

The deal I made with myself yesterday was that if I had not lost weight, I would quit immediately.
I got up and weighed myself.
6 lbs! So I'm at 83 lbs lost, just like that. Get to change my "lost xx lbs with Sparkpeople" image on my sidebar from 70 to 80. I should create a Gastric Mind Band one, huh? I wonder if they have a logo.
So I'm going to keep going. I'm not at the gnawing level of hunger I was at. I can deal for 2 days. I'm unhappy, let's be very clear on that, but perhaps 10 lbs isn't an outrageous goal for these 5 days.
My husband's being kind of a jerk. Last night I felt terrible and I asked him to cook me some bacon for dinner. He was cooking steak for himself. He said, actually said, "If I don't cook for you, you aren't going to eat?" and I said no.
He didn't cook for me. That really pissed me off. Today he pretended that he thought it was my turn to cook him dinner last night and that's why he didn't make me anything.
Today he texts me about supper and I answered him "I am going to eat something horrible that makes me miserable, IDK what you're going to do." And he got angry, he said the world doesn't revolve around me, he didn't go to therapy and he's not changing, even though he said he'd support me.
All I can think of is that I can fix my agony in less than a minute.  Downstairs I have popcorn, peanut butter, crackers, ice cream, chocolate, pasta, milk, diet pepsi, cookies, pop tarts, and chocolate syrup. (Hm, I seem to like things starting with P and C!)  Within a short walking distance is a convenience store, a big chain pharmacy, a Dairy Queen and a Mexican restaurant...and I have a $20 bill hidden away for such emergencies.   But here I am suffering instead, trying to remember that I lost 6 lbs in 4 days and in 2 more days I might be able to launch myself out of the 280s and into the 270s and then it's just a short hop to being 264 and 100 lbs lost.  Maybe by Thanksgiving.  If Saturday morning I can wake up at 279 or less, I would be so happy.  So I try to think of that, and not about all the lovely carb-based foods I have downstairs.
It is especially hard to think about all that food within reach when today I reached a whopping total of 315 calories.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

diary of a 5 day cleanse, day 3

I'm 3 days and 1 hour into this cleanse. All I'm doing is suffering. I wrote to Deb and she told me to quit if it's that bad. But I'm not a quitter. Can't I stick out 5 days?
So what I am going to do is, weigh myself tomorrow when I get up. If I've lost weight, I will keep on going to Friday night. If not, by then it would have been 3.5 days of suffering and unhappiness and sickness for nothing and I will take myself somewhere for lunch and eat carbs and that will be the end of that.   I'll carry around my golf ball talisman and go by the GMB training.  These days have been more of a derailment than a help anyway.
I'm basically on starvation rations, eating 300-400 calories a day.  I feel like I should go to a pro-ani web site and find out how people with anorexia cope with eating this little. I suspect they chew sugarless gum or eat sugarless mints, neither of which I'm allowed to do.
I don't even care anymore if I eat.  The only thing that's even slightly palatable is bacon and how much bacon can one person eat?   So screw it, I won't eat anything for the next day or so, it's got to be easier than eating food that I have grown to totally detest.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

diary of a 5 day cleanse, day 2

One thing that is happening is that I'm getting that horrible Atkins-diet breath, like a dragon pooped and then died in your mouth. It is truly terrible, it tastes awful and I feel bad for anyone who is near me when I am breathing.  I have to go to the dentist for a cleaning; I wonder if that will fix it?  Probably not as I can feel that the bad smell comes from inside, my throat and beyond.  Gross.
The only thing I continue to crave is any kind of carb.  Nothing specific.  I'm starting to get a headache too.
Last night my husband was hungry and I ended up cooking him the other half of the bacon.  10:30 at night he's eating bacon in bed.  Sets a bad precedent.  Now he understands why I said we're gonna need more bacon.  He claims to have had a salad with grilled chicken and no dressing for lunch and not to have had any coffee.  He had twice the food I did for supper--a much larger steak and a huge bowl of steamed veggies--and he was still starving in 4 hours.
I warned the tech at the dentist about how horrid my breath is. I do feel bad.  It is awful.  She brushed my teeth with chocolate toothpaste. It was like cheating.  I made sure to rinse out every bit of toothpaste and not swallow any, though, and the chocolate taste sadly did not last, the death-smell/taste is already back in the 10 minutes it took me to get home.
Where I cooked a slightly larger chicken breast than yesterday.  I couldn't even eat half of it, part of it I gagged on.  Big plain hunks of meat (even seasoned) are so unappealing to me.  I also could not finish the other half of yesterday's tomato.   I'm going to shopping now for more paper towels (all this meat makes a greasy mess) and more bacon.  I don't know what else to do.
My husband texted me just before lunch that he was starving, had a caffeine-withdrawal headache and for me to buy 4 more packages of bacon.  Welcome to Day 2.  And Days 3-4 are supposed to be the worst!  We're only 1/3 of the way there.
I think it's funny that someone left a comment about JennyO turkey on a previous post today.  Because I did in fact look at some JennyO frozen turkey today, and the label said up to 27% of the turkey was actually a sugar infusion.  That made me angry and sick.  They advertise all over the place on The Biggest Loser and their meat has sugar added?!    WTF.  Obviously I didn't buy it as I can't have turkey.  I don't know how to cook a real turkey and I can't eat any kind of deli meat so I guess turkey's outta the question.
I am completely losing my mind.  I'm so hungry.  Everything tastes like crap because of the ketosis breath.  Water is particularly foul and I'm not allowed anything else.  So on top of everything else going on, I'm probably dehydrated.
My back hurts; I think all the driving reactivated or woke up my sciatica.  I can't go to the pool because of the pain. I'm trapped in the house for the next 3 days.  My no-carb dementia is setting in; I'm sure this post is full of dumb mistakes but I won't go back and correct them, I want you to see me fall apart if that's what happens.
I feel extremely depressed, like a failure, that I can't do this 5 day thing, I'm losing my mind and I'm only 52 hours in (out of 120).   I was so up and happy when I left Pennsylvania and I feel like this is making me fail.  I wish I had had the opportunity to do this before I went.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

diary of a 5 day cleanse, day 1 of 5

Here is my (probably flawed) strategy. I am going to try to sleep most of the time for 5 days. Then I won't feel hungry and have food cravings. Right?
My friend called me at 10:30 and woke me up. She said that she needed to go shopping to do the diet with me and would I come with her and help her pick out the right stuff?  I agreed to go after lunch.
My husband said to me last night, "I separated all the meat for you," because he knows I hate to touch raw meat. I go in the fridge and take out a small zip lock of chicken breast. This chicken piece had to weigh at least 10 oz. Now comes the dilemna: do I eat as much as I want per the diet or do I eat to the golf ball? I cut the piece of chicken down to the size of my palm and ate to the golf ball. I grilled it and ate it with half a giant tomato. It was good, not great, and I felt okay-full (meaning I could have crammed more in, but that's the behavior I'm trying to avoid/stop, isn't it?).

Went shopping at Wal-mart with my friend, found the special peanut butter Deb wants me to eat (after this week) which, we found, really does seem a lot healthier than even the other organic peanut butter (according to the labels at least). It's called Naturally More and Deb said, oddly enough, only Wal-mart carries it! My friend stocked up on lots of raw veggies.  She said she had a can of tuna for lunch but she couldn't deal with it plain and had to add some mayo.  That is the exact thing that makes me want to puke but I didn't even comment on the grossness of it. She is supporting me after all, she doesn't NEED to do this.
We watched a TV show I saved for her and we were both getting really hungry and it was only 2 hours since lunch.  She left and I got hungrier and hungrier and I just broke down and cooked 6 slices of organic uncured bacon (3:30, I ate lunch at 11:45).  I ate 5 slices but I cut the ends off those because it wasn't cooked enough. I will microwave that as tomorrow's snack I guess.  
I texted my husband "I'm starving and going to kill someone" and later on "We're going to need more bacon."  His incredulous response: "you ate two packages already!?"  No, but I bought 2 small packages and 6 slices was half a package. If I eat bacon every day, I'm going to run out, unless I save all the squishy ends and eat them on Friday.  I don't want to eat bacon every day, but I'm going to get mighty bored of grilled chicken let me tell you.  I ate it all last week at Deb's house (except the day we grilled a burger instead).  If I could have added a small baked potato, it would have been perfect.  But no potatoes this week. 
It's not like I'm craving anything in particular. I'm not dreaming about specific foods or obsessing about those food.  I'm HUNGRY but not for anything specific. It's just that what I am eating isn't satisfying me. 
For instance, my darling hubby made little steaks under the oven broiler for dinner.  My mom used to call them cube steaks.  I put garlic powder, pink salt and ground pepper on mine; he put a southwestern spice rub I bought him as a gift on his.   I had some fresh corn as my veggie; he had peas and broccoli.  I'm not a huge salt  person, but I love this pink salt.  It's saltier than regular salt, if that makes any sense, but it doesn't give you that mouth pucker.  I added some to the corn too, since I couldn't butter it.  I have a lovely salty aftertaste in my mouth and I am, as before, okay-full.  But without a starch, the meal seems incomplete.  It could be some kind of potato or a dinner roll or a cheddar biscuit.  I don't want anything specific, though.  Just carb or starch in general.
Deb instructed me not to weigh myself until Saturday.  So I can't even get that reinforcement--look, I lost a pound, keep going! 

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

diary of a 5 day cleanse, day 0/1 of 5

I started my 5-day cleanse, from the book The Harcombe Diet: Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight, Sunday at 6 p.m. with the intent of going until Friday evening.
My husband said he would do the 5 days with me as support. A friend of mine said she would too, just to see how the cleanse felt and to see if she'd lose some weight.  That makes me feel pretty good, I'm not sure I'd give up everything I like to eat to support someone else!
However at 7 p.m. Sunday, one hour into it, I hear the microwave going and smell something delicious.  My husband is eating fried chicken.  Which, most definitely, is NOT on the cleanse.  He tells me he's eating it so it won't be there to tempt me.  Um, thanks?  Way to support me?  Way to cleanse with me?  I still have 119 hours left of this, honey, and you're already torturing me.  (Yes it's 120 hours total.   I'm 90 minutes down as I type this first bit, so 118.5 to go!)
Here is the basics of this 5 day cleanse. The author of the book, Zoe Harcombe, assumes that most people who have weight concerns have one or more of these conditions.  
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Hypoglycemia (not diabetes)
  • Food intolerance (not allergies) 
By removing for 5 days foods that feed Candida, affect blood sugar and are commonly not tolerated, it is a chance to reset your body. For me, it's also a resetting of my eating habits.
It's not an unsafe diet or extremely low calorie diet and you can do these 5 days whenever you want. 
If you want to know full details on the 3 conditions, please do read the book. It's very detailed and informative.
The allowed foods for these 5 days:
  • Meat.  Pure, unprocessed, unsmoked, no added ingredients.  
  • Fish. Gross, read the book if you're a fish lover
  • Eggs. From any type of bird.
  • Tofu.  ONLY if you don't usually eat tofu or a lot of soy as it's a common intolerance.  Must be pure tofu with no additives.
  • Salad ingredients and raw veggies. Anything EXCEPT mushrooms and potatoes. 
  • Herbs.
  • Brown Rice.  up to 50 grams (uncooked weight) per day.
  • Natural Live Yogurt.  If you are not sensitive to milk.
  • Beverages.  Water (still, sparkling, bottled, tap) in unlimited amounts.  Herbal tea, decaf coffee, decaf tea.
  • NO: alcohol, fruit, diet soda, regular soda, fruit juices, caffeine, or milk products (except the yogurt).  No wheat, corn or other grains (only brown rice), no sugar or sugar substitutes, nothing pickled or processed. 
Except for the rice, all amounts are unlimited.  No weighing, measuring or calorie counting. (Although I have to keep in mind my talisman and my Gastric Mind Band.)
Obviously any deprivation I'm feeling, at 3 hours in, is all in my mind.  But Deb assures me that physical cravings will come, and I might feel extremely ill if I have any of those 3 conditions. 
Mentally, I'm like, I can eat like this for 5 days.  It's not different from what she was feeding me at her house for lunch each day during the GMB therapy.  But then I panic, can I live without bread?  When I go without bread on Atkins I get really sick and a kind of sugar-deprived dementia.  But I can have veggies, there are some carbs there, I will be okay.  Or not.  I don't know.  I don't want to put bad thoughts out there.
I went shopping yesterday and bought 15 meals worth of food on the approved list, except for the rice because I'm not a fan of plain rice.  I'm set.  The friend I hang out with the most is the one whose doing it with me.
One of my little critter pets died while I was gone, and I'm debating replacing him, as it seems like his mate is sad.  The pet store that I'd go to is right near a couple of my most favorite restaurants.  I did map out a strategy to eat safely at one of them. but not the other.   The question is can I go there and not want to eat at those nearby places?   Should I even try?   Should I stay home for 5 days and be gentle on myself or will I got batshit  not leaving the house?   My pool membership is over and I am going to renew but if I'm going to be sick and feel like crap I won't want to go so why start paying again?    Too many negatives, must stop thinking.

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gastric mind band therapy day 4/last

Friday was my last day of therapy. It was basically just the GMB procedure. First we talked about if we'd missed anything or there was anything to add to the hypnosis. Then I watched a video of someone having a Lap-Band put in. It was a feed from a laproscopic camera. It seems very squishy and pulsing in there, I don't know how they know what squishy bit is what. Deb did not have an actual physical band for me to inspect (she's working on getting one--it's hard to do) but the video was interesting and gave me an idea of what to expect. We looked at a lot of before and after photos from the original clinic in Spain.
And then we started the Gastric Mind Band. I was in the usual reclining chair, but this time covered in a white sheet and with a pulse monitor on my finger and a suggestion of an IV in my hand.  The hypnosis was epic, Inception-style.  I was hypnotized to a garden, then brought down another level to a beach, and then another level to the hospital, and then another level for the surgery.  There were smells and sounds being wafted around, appropriate to where I was at the time.  It was very long, I believe, over an hour, and at the end I did have a sensation of having been punched in the stomach.
I have two things to carry with me.  One is an elastic band bracelet that says "mindband" on it and reminds me that I have a band.  The other is a golf ball that is the size of my stomach now that it's banded, to hold and have on the table during meals.  I call it my talisman.  Both of them are a lovely shade of blue but there are other colors available.
The drive home was long and horrible again. I got stuck on the George Washington Bridge in NYC.  I had a strategy for the bridge. I was telling it was a nice bridge it is, a famous bridge, and so pretty shining in the sun, and wasn't I a LUCKY person to drive over such a great bridge?  And the GWB agreed, and keep me there for 10 minutes.  It wouldn't have been as horrible as it was if it wasn't swaying and moving so much every time a truck went by in the other direction.  I was taking pictures and texting my husband that I was going to die.  After the bridge was a traffic jam that lasted almost to CT.  I had been planning to stop for some food, but there was another traffic jam and I got onto a different highway to get home.  My legs were cramped and rock hard with pain--I could barely stumble into the house, forsaking all my luggage, when I got home.  The true pain started to hit me last night when I was at an unfortunately timed party.  I felt (feel) like I was beaten with a board.  I will never drive that far again by myself.  My legs just can't handle it. I told my husband that if I have to go back, he's going to have to drive me and work from the hotel while I go to therapy.  (I even looked into flying last weekend, but it was $500 round trip to Philadelphia and that's outrageous, I could fly to Florida for cheaper.)
I'm doing the 5-day cleanse diet from 6 p.m. tonight to 6 p.m. Friday night. (Because I have to go somewhere Friday night and there won't be meat there to eat.)  My husband and one of my friends are doing it with me, although I think that when they are NOT with me they are going to cheat like mad.  I cannot cheat. But at least my hubby won't be eating rice and bread and things like that in front of me.
Yesterday I had a familiar and favorite meal for lunch--a semi-healthy one.  I did not finish it.  I did not have the usual appetizer (even though I could have had it for free).  I did drink diet soda, but not very much.  For supper I went out with a bunch of friends.  I ate half my usual portion, did not get any potatoes, did not have dessert, and drank 1 glass of diet soda and 1.5 glasses water. (I order both and alternate drinking. I don't refill the soda until the water is gone too.)  I tried, voluntarily, the food my friend and my husband were eating. What my friend had was okay--I'd eat it if there was nothing else, but it had a suspicious white sauce on it that I didn't feel good about--but what my husband had was really good.  If I feel the need to go out to eat during my 5 days, I can get that meal and it would work.
I'm feeling pretty confident.  We'll see what happens with my mom when I see her tonight.  She did not ask me anything about what I wanted to eat.  She is the wild card and if she is negative I'm scared she can ruin it all for me.
I did ask Deb about her successes for her past 12 GMB clients.  Seems like they lose about 10 lbs a month.  Her 6-month out client is down 60 lbs.  While it's not true gastric banding or gastric bypass weight loss numbers, I'll be perfectly happy with that.   She said I could lose 10-17 lbs just in the next 5 days doing the cleanse diet too which will be a good jump start and confidence builder.  And of course I can always go back onto the 5-day diet if I stall.  Which I won't anymore, right?  Right.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

gastric mind band therapy day 3/penultimate

Today was the last day of therapy, as in sitting around and talking. Tomorrow is the actual band fitting.
It was a short day today, 8 to 2.   We went on a field trip to Whole Foods and bought some things for me to try.  I had some mango. I thought I had eaten mango before & liked it once and disliked it once, but whatever I ate was totally different from what I had today. We cut up a chicken, made edamame.   It's never as good at home as it is at a Japanese restaurant.  Even with pink Himalayan salt on it. 
Basically we just finalized everything we started to set up the last couple of days and had a really really long hypnosis session.  A lot about food choices, about being strong in the face of adversity, exercising, food choices, and portion control.   And did I say food choices?  Food choices and portion control are my problems, I still often eat too much.  Not too much as in, I ate an entire chicken, but as in I ate everything put in front of me--which was more than a serving. 
Got a big notebook on the Gastric Mind Band chock full of helpful info.  I guess most of it is also in the published book (which I also have now).  Great stuff like pictures showing what to compare portion sizes to.  I knew the palm of a hand equals a serving of meat, but there are other ones involving dice, dominoes, golf balls, and tennis balls.
One thing I am struggling with is what to tell people.  I have regrets that I told some IRL friends that I was coming here and getting this done.  They are not going to be supportive, as they mocked the idea of getting hypnotized to think you got weight loss surgery.  A part of me does say, "if I know I was hypnotized to think I have the band, won't I ignore it?"  and another part says "people know they've been hypnotized for weight loss or to stop smoking and it works for them."  Plus why go through all the effort to drive 5+ hours and live in a hotel and spend 8 hours a day baring my soul if I'm not going to use what I learn here? 
I asked Deb if I should tell people I have a real band and she said no one has ever asked her that before. (I am her 13th GMB patient; she's been doing them for 6 months.)  I am inclined to, in situations where I have to refuse food from strangers, to simply say, "I can't eat that. I have a gastric band."  Which is not exactly a lie.  But if I have a smart-ass friend next to me who is going to say "no she doesn't" that isn't going to work very well is it?   But I just think SAYING it reinforces itI have a gastric band, I can't eat that.  I can't eat that way.  I can't eat that much fried food.  I can't drink all that soda.  Because I have a gastric band.  Not because I AM ON A DIET.  Or I AM TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT.  What's the response to those? "Oh, just eat (a piece of cake/whatever), you deserve it."  A band is unforgiving.  If my friend who has a lap-band says she can't eat something cuz of the band (5 years after getting it) I don't push her.  If you can get someone to believe you physically CANNOT eat something, they shouldn't hassle you.  If I can convince myself that I physically cannot eat something, I shouldn't eat it anymore.  And saying, to myself and others, I have a gastric band.  I can't eat that.  I think would be helpful.

I have a gastric band.  I can't eat that.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

gastric mind band therapy day 2

This is some really intense stuff. If you've ever been to traditional talk therapy, where you sit for 45 or 50 minutes and hash out your problems, you know how much that can dredge up. Imagine doing it ALL DAY 9 to 5.
What came up today? My mom smashing one of my toys because I didn't want to share it with a neighbor. A boss that beat me up in lieu of firing me. The time (3d grade) that my next door neighbor whipped me. My "best" friend pushing me aside to get to someone she likes more at a party.  An ex-boyfriend that I suspect was (is) a hermaphrodite who punched a hole through a wall next to my head because I broke up with him.  Apparently there has been a LOT of violence in my life.  I never sat down and thought it all out.   Also drawn out of me--the time a boyfriend lied to me and made me eat venison (it tasted and smelled horrible; I threw up and then he said "you puked up bambi!" and laughed his ass off).  The same boyfriend making me throw a lobster into boiling water after I had named it Fred.
We came up with...actually I came up with....a few awesome strategies to deal with fish stink in restaurants so that instead of the stink driving me away and making me miserable it will empower me and I will thank it for its presence.  (I'm pretty proud of that and Deb was astonished because it was even better than what she was going to suggest.)  We did some revision-type therapy when I revisited extremely traumatic events and thought of ways I could have changed the outcome and how to think about the incidents differently so I can be without anger and pain when the memories surface.  That was done with a clicker and some visualization and some talking through the situation (the PTSD type treatment).  Also played out some possible things that might happen (based on the past) and how I could defuse them before they go bad.  Did a little work on bridges as a couple I drove over en route were pretty traumatic and knowing they are there waiting is giving me anxiety for the drive home.
Yesterday I tried some special chocolate that doesn't change blood sugar.  It's pretty good, very rich, although it's dark chocolate which isn't my favorite.   She gave me samples of healthy foods to try when I get home like high-fiber pasta.   Yesterday we cooked a meal of grilled pepper-coated chicken and a side of raw veggies.  Today we had a hamburger patty and I used ketchup with agave which didn't suck as much as I thought.  I'd take it over Hunts any day but not as good as Heinz.  Probably on par with the store-brand used at 99 Restaurant.  I also tried 2 kinds of agave syrup, regular and vanilla.  I didn't like either, they both tasted a lot like honey which I don't like.  It took a while to get up the courage to try them.
Next week I have to do a kind of  5-day fast to reset my eating.   Offhand I believe it's only meat and veggies.  No milk, cheese, potatoes, rice, wheat, corn, or sugar.  it is going to suck big time.  It's to normalize blood sugar, get rid of cravings, find food intolerance, and get a start on treating candidiasis (which I don't think I have based on the questionnaire in the book). 
We did another hypnosis session, this one got taped as it has all the core ideals in it.  Such as, numbering your hunger.  Starving is 0, stuffed is 10.   You don't eat until your hunger is 2 and you eat to 5, not more.  I have used something similar where you eat from 3 to 7.    Portion control was covered in that, also some specific prompts just for me, like getting off my ass and using my bowflex! 
I had to write a letter to a couple of people in my life I feel I have unresolved things with. I wrote to my mom and my "best" friend.  Then I had to write a letter to myself. Basically I told myself to shit or get off the pot and quoted "Lose Yourself" from Eminen.

Success is my only motherfucking option, failure's not.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

gastric mind band therapy days 0 & 1

Yesterday was a very long day. I left home shortly before 8 a.m. A goddess of a friend loaned me her GPS unit and it informed me that I'd arrive at 11:22. Remember that time. Wow, early, but I'd go have lunch or something if the room wasn't ready.
Traffic on 15 was a parking lot nightmare. By 9 a.m. the arrival time was 12:22. That's right, I drove an hour and it ADDED an hour to my time. The GPS kept trying to shunt me to 95 so I listened, stupid me, that was a parking lot too. At 11 a.m. I was at the FIRST rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike with over 100 miles to go. Remember that 11:22? I actually arrived after 1:30, exhausted. I called the people I needed to call to say I was alive and then did an hour in the pool. The freezing cold "heated" indoor pool.With no clock.  I set the alarm on my phone but of course the battery was half dead and it's not very loud.  I ended up guessing I was done and it was just an hour.  12 songs.
The hotel is really nice; if you come here for the therapy I recommend it.  Free wifi everywhere, lovely pond in the back. In the basement is the pool, a sauna, a gym, and a "game" room that's basically an arcade--even a laundrymat.  The Best Western in Concordville, PA (corner of routes 1 and 322) and it's only about $100 a night.  Free breakfast too. 
Today was the first day of therapy.  9 a.m.  I met all day (literally until 5 p.m.) with two different people.  We went over everything--to the point where I wonder what's left for the next 3 days!   Having my mental status checked, did I understand what I was getting into, did I have reasonable expectations, did I have drive and determination.  Was I crazy, schizoid, psychotic, etc.  (I passed that one.)  We talked about an abusive boyfriend who beat me up when I was skinny because other guys looked at me.  Memories, good and bad, of my childhood revolving around food, my weight and any big traumas.  We cooked a healthy lunch together.  The day ended with a hypnosis session.  I have a book to read tonight (yeah, there's homework!) but here I am blogging and watching the Biggest Loser.  Lots of handouts, samples of healthy foods and things to try.   A really long, emotional day, talking about people who have died and pain and loss and also good thing that have happened to inspire me and help me.  Which of my friends and family are likely to be supportive of lifestyle changes and who'd be sly and combative and even downright sabotaging.  We're going to come up with ways to deal with the bad and thank the good.
We came up with a way to downplay the problems I have with fish stink, although we haven't done anything on that topic except figure out a gameplan.  Talked a little about other phobias I have (spiders, heights, bridges--I drove over a couple of nasty ones en route and now I KNOW they are there waiting for me on the way home!) and we might try to sneak in a little about them at some point.    Emotional eating, mindless eating, food name it, we probably talked about it today! What foods that I already eat I should concentrate on, which ones I should try to avoid (not forbidden, just attempt to choose them less often).
It was not all serious, however, there was talk of good things and laughter (I'm even funnier in person than I am in print) and silliness.   It was an emotional but enjoyable day.  I am physically and emotionally tired.  By the time I head home Friday I am going to be wrung out.  I only hope I refill myself with the right things.  I want this, I need it, but it still terrifies me to try to change, to overcome my fears of food.
My weight goal of 145-150 (BMI of about 24.9) was deemed realistic (even though I know it's still chubby for my body).  I'd be happy with just another 100 lbs and completely overjoyed to get down into the 130s but if that doesn't happen, oh well.  Under 200 lbs would mean I was healthy and extremely comfortable.  No time frame for losing these last 140 pounds has come up yet, maybe another day.
Tonight the pool was warm so it must have been broken last night, but I ran after my supper and I only lasted about 15 minutes (Habba Syndrome!).   And here I am, telling you all everything.
So I'm off to read my book during TBL commercials.  Will do another update tomorrow! 

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Friday, October 15, 2010

getting excited over Gastric Mind Band

I'm getting kinda excited to go and get my Gastric Mind Band next week. It should be an adventure. I've got my suitcase out and I'm throwing things in every time I walk by. Which means that I'll have to take everything out because I'll forget what's already in there. I do this EVERY time I go away, you'd think I'd learn. Or make an inventory.
I was hanging out with one of my super new-agey pagan friends today--she kindly loaned me her GPS, thanks darling!--and we did some numerology and astrology and mystic hand waving and it turns out next week is a fabulous time to undergo intensive therapy and to put forward intention and effort toward making a major life change! And that's not just for ME, but for everyone. That made me feel pretty good about the whole thing. Although even if the numbers and alignments were bad, I wouldn't have rescheduled, just figured it was another case of things having to be harder than they need to. Maybe for once, things will be easy!
The ONLY misgiving I have (and it's minor, slight) is that I might come out a zombie.  Not a brain eating one, brains are definitely NOTFOOD no matter what species. More of an old-school voodoo zombie, you know, under someone else's control.... I knew someone a few years back who went to one of those 6-week weight-loss hypnosis group seminars.  You go and sit in a circle and some guy brainwashes you.  And this person would come out with insane things, like if she saw someone drinking soda she'd say "Soda is poison. I nurture my body with water."  Which is exactly the kind of happy-crappy these hypnotists tell you.  I've been to a few of them and nothing ever really stuck because it was all canned, cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all-stuff.  I know that what's going to happen next week is extremely tailored to me and my idiosyncrasies (if not to accommodate them, then to eliminate them).  So I'm not REALLY afraid I'll come out the other end spouting nonsense.  But I have a tendency to complicate things and worry too much.
I was buying a few bottles of water today.  (I know they have water in Pennsylvania.  I just don't feel like driving around looking for a store when I could just bring it along.)  And looking at the huge array of fruit juices and flavored ice tea and flavored lemonade and all kinds of soda and energy drinks.  Either these drinks have sugar in them--sugar has calories and is empty bad carbs--or they have fake sweetener in them--which is poison, or not, depending on which web site you visit. And water is just really bland and boring. It made me kind of angry. 
There was an episode of a hoarders show on the other day where the woman was yelling "can't I have anything?" and while she was a total drama queen, that's how I feel about beverages right now.  Flavor either equals calories/sugar or "poison"/fake sugar.  Right now I opt for "poison" because I am not yet convinced it is poison...for every web site saying it is, there's one to say it isn't, and both have studies to back them up.  I don't like flavored waters (and a lot of them actually have calories--read the labels carefully) and I don't like unflavored seltzer (very sour/bitter--that's the supertaster in me).
So we'll see how that part goes.
I'm most worried, of course, about my husband feeding all the pets and watering the plants while I'm away.  I hate to have to ask a friend to come in; that would be weird.  Especially if she came over at night while my husband was home and started taking care of the animals in front of him.  He'd get angry.  I'm going to clean cages and tanks, and super-water all the plants on Sunday, and hope that will last until Friday night when I get home.  Wow a week from now, it will be all over!  

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck...

A couple of weeks ago, my old underwater MP3 player died. It was a few years old, I wasn't very angry or upset (except that I would miss workouts waiting for a new one to arrive, as they aren't in stores around here).
My new one came and I used it for a week.  I wrote an extensive review for Amazon (and here) which I actually hadn't posted yet because I wanted to use it a little more and make sure the review was complete and accurate.
I used it all last week (4 days, about 6 hours).  It holds a 10 hour charge.  I plugged it in over the weekend and the light was green, meaning it was charged, but I left it plugged in for a while just in case.  Monday the pool was closed for Indian Slaughter Day, I mean Columbus Day.  Tuesday it worked fine, so that was day 5.  Yesterday after about 25 minutes it went dead.  I was mad.  I can't replace the battery, it gets recharged via a USB cable to my computer.  I went home and plugged it in; light went red meaning dead battery. I went grocery shopping and to Yale and then to Vitamin Shoppe for new supplements and a 2nd pill case, and also stopped for lunch.  By the time I got home it had been plugged in for a good 6 hours.  It takes 2 hours to charge. 
Light was still red.  I plugged in headphones, turned it on.  Nothing.
It was dead.  $88 and it lasted FIVE workouts.
That pissed me off, let me tell you.  I was on the phone to Hawaii immediately and the CSR said this wasn't the first complaint of the unit going dead and not recharging!  After less than 2 weeks?  That really SUCKS.
But the CSR was great.  I told him my old MP3 player was going through batteries every 15 minutes and that's why I had to upgrade. He said he'd send me an old-style one AND a replacement new one.  Second day air!  That's great service, but better if I didn't have to call.
Last week I got a Facebook message from an old friend, we've know each other since middle school so almost 30 years.  Her mom has the same disease that killed my dad.   I sat and cried after I read her message because I know how horrible it is going to be for her and her mom, and I can't do anything except be there and watch the train wreck for the next few years.
Over the weekend, a good friend of mine got in an accident and was in a coma in critical condition.  Today she had surgery to put her face back together.  She has no medical insurance as she's unemployed and her husband is retired.
I could be cold and say, their problems are not my problems.  I can't fix that one's mom.  I can't pay that one's bills.  But they are my friends and I love them, and part of loving your friends is being upset when bad things happen to them.  And those two things are just about the worse that can happen.
I have to go away next week and be utterly selfish for 4 days or this therapy isn't going to work.  But until I get into my car on Monday, I am going to be sad for my buddies.

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back to Yale

Yesterday I made the trek to New Haven and Yale (I just typed New Yalen by mistake; sometimes it does seem like Yale and NH are one and the same!).  Their scale says I gained 2 pounds.  But I was wearing big sneakers and long pants; last time I had on shorts and flip-flops.  I call it even.  I should have lost, I know, don't beat me up. I beat myself up enough.
There was the usual amount of harping on my poor food choices.  I know they are bad.  I am spending a lot of money I don't really have to go away for a week and live in a hotel 400+ miles from home and get therapied all day every day by a couple of people, and be hypnotized into thinking I had a gastric band operation.  Obviously I can't fix my poor food choices on my own or I woulda done it already, right?  You think I want to weigh almost 300 lbs? It's better than almost 400 lbs, but I'd rather say "almost 150 lbs"!  Weighing twice what I should is almost as sucky as weighing 3x what I should.
There was some good news at Yale.  All my bloodwork was excellent, the bad stuff went down and the good stuff went up and most of it is now where it should be.   That's got to count for something.  Even if I didn't lose weight I've gotten healthier.
And it's not like I"m not trying. I work out like a fiend.  I keep my calorie count low.  I'm frustrated.  Hoping, almost praying, that next week will fix whatever switch in my head is stuck.

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gastric mind band therapy contact information

Here is the information on the Gastric Mind Band therapist I am going to see next week. I am getting flooded with requests for her contact information, but many people don't leave an email address or blog URL for me to give it to them!
She has given me permission to post this on my blog. If you contact her, please let her know you heard it from Rosie!

Deb Donze
MS, DNM, Psychotherapist, Licensed Life Coach, 
Licensed Gastric Mind Band Therapist
Her office is located just south of Philadelphia, PA.  The information is also posted in my sidebar.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

inappropriate fear

I am afraid of the wrong things. I am afraid of food and spiders and suspension bridges and being eaten by a shark.
But a few years ago, after my dad died, I needed to escape from the world and I went to Cancun alone.  No fear.  My husband was freaking out: I was going to get kidnapped by drug lords, have my kidneys stolen, be raped and murdered, the plane was going to crash, I was going to wander into unexplored jungle territory and be eaten by sentient plants atop a pyramid (good book, bad movie), or be eaten by a jaguar or by cannibals, or be sacrificed by some lost-in-time Mayans.  SOMETHING bad, at any rate.  None of those things happened of course--I did fall off a pyramid but women who weigh almost 400 lbs shouldn't be climbing pyramids anyway so it was my own fault.  But I had no fear at all (except of the food, of course) while I was there.
I come home, there's a spider the size of an eyelash and I lose my mind.  Lost in Mexico, don't speak Spanish? An adventure.   A tiny spider 5 feet away?  Total panic.  Fall off a Mayan pyramid? Put on an Ace bandage.  Unknown spices on my chicken?  Meltdown.
How come I can do something crazy like go to Mexico alone, a place I've never been, and be fearless, but I can't confront a tiny arachnid or eat a strange food or drive on a bridge that has big cables overhead?  I am so damn illogical. 

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Cooking with Rosie

I don't really cook. That's probably weird for a fat person.  One reason why is that I don't touch raw meat.  And cooking, real cooking, requires all sorts of chopping and touching of raw meat.  I mean, I can totally take something out of a box and heat it up.  But that's not cooking.  I'm talking about getting a recipe and following it.  I don't do much of that.  
I can make pizza dough (and pizza) from scratch.   Squash parmesan (the only thing I eat that I consider weird, and if I didn't already eat it I probably wouldn't).  I can make spaghetti sauce, and therefore baked ziti and lasagna (as long as it doesn't have that foul ricotta cheese in it).  I know how to put onion soup on roast beef and then use the drippings to make delicious gravy.  I make a decent clone of Red Lobster's cheddar cheese biscuits.  Pancakes. Chocolate chip cookies.  Stuffed peppers--but my husband has to mix the meat for me.  And, um, that might possibly be it.  I tried to roast a chicken, once, and it was so disgusting and inedible my cats wouldn't even eat it.  Purple stuff came out of the bones when I tried to cut it up and it stank.  I've never cooked a turkey.
There are some things I cook that I don't eat.  I make good scrambled eggs, and a lovely steak-ums, onions, peppers and cheese hoagie.
I've tried to make some of the things I eat in restaurants at home.  The Yale docs swear that restaurants put things in and lie and I should only ever eat at home.  They say that all salads, for instance, come with dressing.  That's not true; I can taste dressing and trust me I'd complain because salad dressing is gross.  I've tried to make quesadillas and fajitas at home and they're icky.  The meat is never cooked right.  My husband can make some really good chicken tenders but they are even greasier than what I get in a restaurant. 
That's it, that's all I can cook.  Of course, I don't eat much more than those foods, do I?  Hopefully after next week that will change! 

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

never enough

I've been trying to do quite a bit of self-analyzing ahead of going to this big therapy week (next week. Eek or yay?)
I just saw an ad for some kind of 60 or 80 calorie mousse snack.  I would totally eat that as a meal.  A less than 100 calorie meal.  I'd call it a good choice for me. I'd throw in some fiber or protein powder as well.  But if the people at Yale see something like that on my food list, it's bad, it's horrible, it's terrible.  They can't or won't see that for me, it's an incredible choice.  It's not enough.  They want me to eat tuna on whole grain crackers.  Fuck that, that is never going to happen.  But my "good' choices are not good enough.
My whole life has been like this.  I've never been good enough.  I was too fat, and when I lost weight in college I still wasn't thin enough--at an 18.7 BMI/114 lbs.  I still didn't eat good enough, I still didn't exercise enough.  I still wasn't good enough.
If I got an A in school, why wasn't it an A+?  Why weren't all my grades A?  Why didn't I have more friends? Better friends?
And when I was thin, the refrain was constant: you're going to get fat again, if you keep eating like that.  If you keep not working out.  If, if, if.   And what happened?  I got fat again, and once again I wasn't good enough.
And now that I work out like a fiend, it's still not enough.  I'm not losing weight.  I literally run a marathon every week in the pool. I keep my calories below 1500, sometimes below 1000 (Yale wants me at 1600).   Not enough?  Too much?
I have some kind of balance problem.  It's always too much or not enough.   I eat too much, I don't eat enough.   I work out too much, not enough.  I weigh too much (but never not enough).  If I try to follow my own drummer, it's wrong.  When I try to follow someone else's instructions, they don't work for me.
God, I really wish I could remake the world so that I fit into it, since it's obviously I am never going to be able to make over myself to fit the world.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Dear Adipose Brothers...

Dear Adipose Brothers:
I see you together very morning in the pool. You look alike so I know you are brothers. And I am not telling you anything you don't already know when I say you both also have big huge beer bellies. Enormous. They make me feel positively slim.
The point I am trying to make here, dear brothers, is that you are very large men. Extra large, even. And that is why the medium-sized float belts don't fit you. Yet every morning you both grab medium belts (they are COLOR CODED, so I know) and you struggle to get them around your immense, rounded, hypnotically moon-like tummies. No one cares if you are taking the extra-large belt. No one will point and laugh because you are size extra large. So do yourself and your poor big bellies a favor and please, wear the correct size.
"The woman who runs in the pool"
image from

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I think I have figured out part of the problem, one of the reasons why my weight loss has stalled.
I'm comfortable here, at this weight and size.
I might not look great, but I can do just about anything I want. I can walk for a couple of miles before it hurts. I'm not out of breath.  My knee doesn't hurt.  I fit in booths.  None of my clothes are too tight.  My shirts are not so short my belly flesh shows.
I need some kind of incentive, some impetus to propel me past this point.  I used to weigh over 3x what I should; I still weigh about 2x what I should.  I've lost over 20% of my body weight and I feel good physically.  Could I feel better?  Probably.  Could I look better?  Definitely, although there's a limit to how good, because of my sagging boobs and ginormous arms.  But looks really don't inspire me.  I don't want to be gorgeous and thin because when I was, someone used to beat me up for BEING gorgeous and thin.  Hopefully the therapy in 2 weeks is going to address that, but for right now, it's still in play.  Knowing it's there, and that it's irrational, doesn't fix it.
Speaking of irrational, as I was running my 7+ miles this morning, I started to think about that old definition of insanity.  "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"  I'm doing exactly the opposite. I'm eating the same amount of calories (even a bit less) and doing the same amount of exercise (at a higher intensity) and expecting the same results--weight loss--and I'm not getting them.  Does that mean I'm sane?

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Monday, October 04, 2010


Some things just are NotFood to me. They are inappropriate for me to ingest. NotFood. It's all part of the selective eating disorder thing.
Last night I ate dinner at my mom's.   Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, corn.  The mashed potatoes had some kind of plants mixed in.  That made me unhappy just to look at it.  My mother insisted there was no rosemary. (I don't trust my mom's cooking; she lies to me all the time about what's in the food she cooks).  The potatoes smelled horrible to me.  No one else had a problem with them.  I tried to eat a forkful and they were repulsive.  There was this taste that was just WRONG, it was completely foul.  I wanted to spit them out.  My mother threw the box at me to prove there was no rosemary.   That didn't work, as it said "spices and natural flavors" which doesn't rule out rosemary...but prominent on the ingredients list was SOUR CREAM which is a NotFood to me.   I knew the potatoes were gross; the ingredients list told me why.
So it's all in my head?  That I could taste and smell something in the potatoes I didn't know was there?  And something was there?

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

tongue patch to lose weight? not likely....

An Los Angeles doctor is claiming that application of a tongue patch that makes eating difficult causes weight loss.   He calls this "weight reduction procedure" the "Miracle Patch" and says, "It simply makes chewing solid food very difficult and painful, relegating the patient to a physician supervised liquid diet that fulfills all of the patient's nutritional needs while at the same time minimizing caloric intake."
I basically have already tried this.  A friend of mine got her tongue pierced, couldn't eat properly for weeks and lost weight--something like 15 lbs.  It excited her so much she went and got a 2nd tongue piercing to lose more weight!  So I went and got MY tongue pierced.  Does it making eating difficult at first? Hell yeah.  It hurts, oh does it hurt.  I'd had mine about 10 days and I tried to eat some fried mozzarella and the cheese wrapped around the shaft of the piercing and I had to go into the bathroom to untangle it.  But I've had mine over 10 years now and it doesn't affect my eating a bit.  And you know what the recommended and preferred diet is with a new tongue stud?  Soft-serve ice cream.  Not exactly low calorie.  And I lost no weight.
He says, "physician supervised liquid diet" but if the patient can follow that diet, why bother having some weird tongue patch sewn on?
Also, the doctor cannot provide any data"on the safety of the procedure or whether weight loss is sustained once the patch is removed and the person resumes eating."
I think it's BS.  And if you want to try it, spend $50 getting your tongue pierced at the local tattoo parlor, don't pay this guy 100x that amount.

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